San Diego, California
Stop me if you have heard this one before. The Aztecs have signed a 6’10” four-star recruit from Ghana named Mensah to their 2018 recruiting class.
Well, you would be halfway right. That would have been Joel Mensah from J. Serra High School, who signed back in August.
I’m talking about Nathan Mensah, who is also a 6’10” four-star recruit from Ghana, currently playing at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. They share the same last name, but don’t share any family bonds. However, they do know each other.
That would be because of Kwaku Amoaku. According to Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune, Amoaku is an assistant coach at Miramar College, and a San Marcos High School graduate. His roots also hail from Ghana. Born to Ghanaian parents, he founded an African youth basketball organization.
It was there that Nathan and Joel met. According to Nathan, the two have already developed quite the chemistry. “It feels great to have Joel there.” He goes on to say, “We play well together, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Nathan brings impressive physical stats. Besides his 6’10” stature he has a freakish 7’5″ wingspan. He is projected to be a true center, but will need to become a better defender. Draft Express had this to say about his defense, “Not as good of a defender as you might hope. Only averaging .5 steals and 1.8 blocks per-40 minutes in 381 minutes of game-time we have logged in our database.” This would normally be a concern, especially since this is the last year of eligibility for 6’10” Malik Pope and 7’1″ transfer Kameron Rooks, but this is San Diego State.
Defense may be the most taught subject on the Mesa. If you play for the Aztecs, you will play defense.
— NATHAN MENSAH (@NathanMensah) October 5, 2017
Nathan has good upside. He’s been playing basketball for only four years. The learning curve will be steep, but the reward should be great. The best part of his game is his mid-range jump shot that, if developed, can turn into a deadly weapon when coupled with a nice turnaround move. He runs the court well and can occupy a lot of space with his wing span.
Mensah had offers from Oregon, Oregon State, USC, and Texas Tech, but chose two schools for official visits-Oregon and San Diego State. I would guess that having Joel Mensah commit to SDSU had a lot to do with Nathan committing to Brian Dutcher’s team.
Nathan and Joel Mensah are two of the Aztecs’ 2018 recruiting class, joining Adelanto High School 6’2″ guard, Jordan Campbell. Dutcher’s staff has shown one thing thus far. They can recruit. Last year’s disappointing sixth place finish in the Mountain West Conference was a major disappointment. This team has too much talent to finish that low. This year will be interesting to watch and see how the team transitions from Steve Fisher’s tutelage to Brian Dutcher’s coaching style. I would guess we could expect more of the same success under Dutcher. You don’t spend 27 years sitting next to a coaching legend and not pick up a thing or two about this game. There’s enough talent left over and an exciting 2017 recruiting class this year to not expect anything less than another Mountain West Conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. If they keep recruiting like this, we could expect those kind of results for years to come!